Healthy Hollywood: Get Movin’ Monday – Row To Fitness!

The oft-forgotten rowing machine is making a comeback! Most fitness buffs have forgotten the benefits of rowing. After all, rowing machines are often cast to the corner of the gym and rarely utilized – but that’s about to change.

Equinox fitness has launched a new rowing class called ShockWave.

“It’s being called the most efficient total body workout in the world because in just 30 to 45 minutes, you get a total body workout complete with cardio and strength, and burn more calories than you could in almost any other format,” Equinox fitness instructor Jay Blahnik said.

Jay, along with former world champion rower Josh Crosby, created this circuit-style cardio class, which breaks members into teams and rotates them through rowing or strength training stations.

“ShockWave includes a bit of friendly competition and camaraderie that keeps you energized and motivated as the teams push to achieve new distances on the rowing machine with each circuit,” Josh added.

But, if you’re not an Equinox member, no worries – the basic rowing machine by itself is an awesome sweat-fest.

“It’s one of the few cardio activities that recruits over 80-percent of your body’s muscle mass. Unlike most cardio activity that uses primarily your legs, rowing uses your legs, core AND arms with every stroke,” Josh stated.

Feeling inspired? I know Healthy Hollywood is going to give rowing a go next time I am at the gym. But first, Josh and Jay share how to row properly so your calorie burn is at its maximum.

“Many people have never tried rowing because they don’t know how, think it is too complicated, and was only good for outdoor rowers. Rowing is much simpler than it seems. You only need to know three things: the order, the power and the timing!”

1. Do the movements in the correct order. That is legs push first, then the core engages to hinge the body, then the arms work to pull the handle to the chest. Then, you simply reverse that motion to return to the front of the rower.

2. Second focus on the proper power distribution. The legs should drive 60-percent of the power, the core should be 20-percent of the power, and the arms should be 20-percent of the power.

3. Finally, think about timing. Take 1 count to drive out, and 2 counts to drive in. You get your rest when you come forward before the next stroke, so don’t rush yourself.

For more fitness tips, check Equinox’s Q blog, at

-- Terri MacLeod

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